James Connolly


The Re-Conquest of Ireland


Appendix 1
The Protestant View

As a further commentary upon the claim that the Williamite forces at the Battle of the Boyne fought for Civil and Religious liberty, the following analyses of the spirit of the Protestant sects have a grim humour of their own:–


The Church of England continued to be for more than 150 years the servile handmaid of monarchy, the steady enemy of public liberty.

The divine right of kings and the duty of passively obeying all their commands, were her favourite tenets. She held these tenets firmly through times of oppression, persecution and licentiousness, while law was trampled down, while judgment was perverted, while the people were eaten as if they were bread. – Macaulay, Essays.


Anglicanism (Episcopalianism) was, from the beginning, at once the most servile and the most efficient agent of tyranny. Endeavouring, by the assistance of temporal authority and by the display of worldly power, to realise in England the same position as Catholicism had occupied in Europe, she naturally flung herself on every occasion into the arms of the civil power.

No other Church so uniformly betrayed and trampled upon the liberties of her country. In all those fiery trials through which English liberty has passed since the Reformation, she invariably cast her influence into the scale of tyranny, supported and eulogised every attempt to violate the Constitution, and wrote the fearful sentence of eternal condemnation upon the tombs of the martyrs of freedom. – W.E.H. Lecky, Rationalism in Europe.



“While England was breaking loose from her ancient superstitions, and advancing with gigantic strides along the road of knowledge, Scotland still cowered, with a willing submission, before her clergy. Never was a mental servitude more complete; and never was a tyranny maintained with more inexorable barbarity.

“Supported by public opinion, the Scottish ministers succeeded in overawing all opposition; in prohibiting the faintest expressions of adverse opinions; in prying into and controlling the most private concerns of domestic life; in compelling everyone to conform absolutely to all the ecclesiastical regulations they enjoined; and in, at last, directing the whole scope and current of legislation.

“They maintained their ascendancy over the popular mind by a system of religious terrorism, which we can now barely conceive.” – W.E.H. Lecky, Rationalism in Europe.


Last updated on 15.8.2003